Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Harvesting under gov't cannabis cultivation pilot project expected in four months

Published:Thursday | April 25, 2019 | 10:52 AM
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson (left), listens as Regional Extension Officer in the Ministry’s Fisheries Division, Stacy-Ann Gray (second left), provides an overview of the Green Island Fisherfolk Co-operative Society during the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, which was held at the Montpelier Showground in St. James on April 22, 2019. Also participating in the discussion are members of the Society Winnifred Atkins (second right) and George Brown - Contributed photo

Farmers in Accompong, St Elizabeth, who are part of the Government’s cannabis cultivation pilot project, are expected to begin harvesting the plant within four months.

This is according to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson.

“The Accompong (farmers) already got their seedlings and they are about to move them out of the greenhouse and into the open field. We have already had 10 acres prepared, and those 10 acres are going to be planted with legal marijuana. We are hoping that we will be reaping within another three to four months,” Hutchinson said.

He was addressing patrons and participants attending the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, which was held at the Montpelier Showground in St James on Monday.

As part of the project, the Government is looking to cultivate 50 acres of the plant for use as raw material in a variety of commercial products, including oils and animal feed.

The programme complements the Alternative Development Programme that was implemented in Accompong and other communities in March to provide small-scale farmers with a channel through which to benefit from the cannabis industry.

The programme aims to prevent and eliminate illicit ganja cultivation and channel the process through legal streams.

The pilot has been initiated in Accompong, St Elizabeth and Orange Hill, Westmoreland.

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